The Queen of Planets!
In the coming months, stargazers will have an exciting opportunity to observe our neighbouring planet, Venus in great detail. Venus is known to be one of the most prominent objects in the sky, appearing as the third brightest object after the sun and moon. As the planet orbits the Sun it’s either visible in the morning or evening depending on the orbital position viewed from Earth. This effect gives Venus it’s famous nickname - the morning star!
Venus has puzzled stargazers for centuries, and many have wondered why it appears so bright in the night sky, it’s often mistaken for an aircraft or some other unidentified object as it shines so brightly. The reason for the brightness however is quite simple - the light that we see from Venus is sunlight that is reflected from the atmosphere of the planet. Thick clouds made mostly of carbon dioxide and sulfuric acid cover the planet, reflecting over 70% of the incoming sunlight back out to space. This reflection of sunlight makes Venus shine brighter than any other planet in our solar system, and also makes it visible during the day.
Additionally, Venus's proximity to our planet amplifies this effect, making it appear even brighter to the naked eye. The planet's position in the sky changes throughout the year, but in the coming months, it will be in a particularly favourable position for observation.
Observing Venus with a telescope or binoculars provides a fascinating glimpse into the planet's phases. When Venus appears as a crescent, it means that the planet is between the Sun and Earth, with most of it’s surface is in shadow. On the other hand, if Venus appears as an almost full disk from Earth, it means that the Sun is between Earth and Venus. This positioning of the planets also means that it is impossible to see 100% of Venus's illuminated surface from Earth, as the planet is directly behind the Sun when viewed from Earth.
Do you want to take your planetary imaging to the next level? For observing the cloud details of Venus you can get a huge advantage using Antlia U-Venus filter!
Also make sure to try an IR-pass filter to cut through the athmospheric haze - improving your seeing to get sharper images of planets like Venus and Jupiter - also a great choice for lunar imaging! We offer two different wavelenght choices from 685nm to 850nm.
685nm IR-pass filter:
850nm IR-pass filter: